Evacuation in Kedarnath over, mass cremation continues (Update/Uttarakhand)

Gauchar/Guptkashi (Uttarakhand), June 27 (ANI): Multiple agencies involved in search and rescue operations in flood-ravaged Uttrakhand wrapped up their mission in Kedarnath on Thursday.

Media reports said all those stranded in Kedarnath have been evacuated.

The job of clearing debris and searching dead bodies will now be undertaken by state government agencies.

However, this afternoon, rescuers had to suspend their work after the weather turned bad and heavy rains lashed Badrinath, Dharsu and Harsil sectors where many people are still stranded.

Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers, which resumed making sorties to rescue people and deliver relief material in these regions, had to halt the rescue operations as inclement weather, fog and rains affected visibility.

At least 400 people are reported to be missing and the authorities have no clue about them. The relief and rescue operations are likely to be completed in the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) spokesman Deepak Pandey said the bodies of 19 military personnel who died after an IAF helicopter crashed in Uttarakhand on Tuesday have been found this afternoon.

The first batch of 15 yatris also arrived from Badrinath at the Joshimath air base this morning after the IAF resumed air rescue operations.

IAF Task Force Commander Rajesh Issar told reporters that the rescue operations will be completed in Harsil today. The IAF has so far rescued some 600 to 700 people from Harsil on Wednesday, he said.

Army officials said that they have managed to evacuate 200 people from the pilgrimage site of Harsil but another 200 people remain to be brought out of there. (ANI with inputs)

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